Transcript of IB Geography - Pro and Anti-natal Population Policies
Responses to High and Low Fertility
Population Policies PRO-NATALIST POLICY The aim of these is to increase the birth rate.
Usually in MEDCs
Response to low fertility. ANTI-NATALIST POLICY The aim of these is to decrease the birth rate.
Usually in LEDCs
Response to high fertility. WHY? Countries may introduce a pro-natalist policy because:
•They have an ageing population (increased dependency ratio)
•They have a shortage of economically active (low births rates and total fertility rates) WHAT? You can not force people to have children, so pro-natalist policies normally work by offering incentives. Incentives may include:
•Extended maternity and paternity leave and pay (maternity leave is holiday (time off work) given to the mother after she has given birth, paternity leave is holiday given to the husband after the mother has given birth - in most countries paternity leave is very short (maybe 2 weeks and often unpaid))
•Free or subsidised childcare
•Free of subsidised education and healthcare CASE STUDY SINGAPORE CASE STUDY Singapore is a developed country in SE Asia with a population of about 5 million people. For many years the Singaporean government has believed that Singapore is underpopulated and has tried to increase its population. Singapore has one of the lowest total fertility rates in the world, standing at 1.1, which is well below the replacement rate of 2.1. Already 36% of the Singapore population is made up of foreign nationals and in some sectors like industry, 80% of the workers are foreign.
To overcome worker shortages, the Singapore government has encouraged immigration, but it is also trying to increase the population through raising birth rates. The government is doing this in a number of ways. It has increased maternity leave by 50% to 12 weeks and it will cover the cost of maternity leave (the cost to the parents employers) for the first four babies. The Singapore government is also increasing child benefits paid to families. The government will pay money into a special bank account of up to nearly $1000 for six years. The Singapore government has also sponsored dating organisations to encourage people to get married earlier and start having children.
If Singapore's policies are not successful it will become increasingly dependent on foreign workers, gradually see an increase in the dependency ratio and ultimately economic decline. Singapore aims to raise the birth rate: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3589744.stm Singapore couples Paid for Children: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/889554.stm Singapore Birth Rate Challenges: http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100126-194441.html FURTHER READING Where else has this happened? Halting Russia's Population Collapse: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7971719.stm http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13143523 France plans to pay cash for more babies: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/22/france.jonhenley1 Australia's Birth Rate at a 25 year high: http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/08/06/us-australia-babies-idUSSYD29125420080806 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/may/24/australia http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/feb/23/child-cost-inflation To what extent are pro-natalist policies a good idea? (10 marks) WHY? A country may introduce an anti-natalist policy if it is:
•Overpopulated (the population is higher than the resources available)
•Has a young population (high birth rates and total fertility rate) WHAT? This can be done through better education on family planning and better provision of contraception or a more rigid forced policy like China's CASE STUDY China currently has the largest population in the world, standing at about 1.3 billion. China is the third largest country in the world, but only about 10% of its area is good for arable farming. Much of the west is covered in mountains and much of the north is desert.
China probably has the most famous population policy in the world. However, not everyone knows is that China actually had a pro-natalist policy after the end of World War II. During the war China was occupied by the Japanese. The Communist government never wanted this to happen again, so encouraged population growth to create a large army. This policy saw rapid population growth, but unfortunately the availability of resources was not growing at the same rate and in the early 1960's an estimated 20 million people died from famine. Because of the famine, in 1964 the government tried to promote birth control, but the birth rate still stood at 45 between 1966 and 1971. Because of the high birth rates the government promoted a new campaign 'Late, Sparse, Few'. However, the government didn't believe that this was having a significant enough effect and in 1979 introduced the one child policy.
Demographers estimated that China's optimum population was 700 million and the aim was to meet this figure by 2080. The policy was strictly enforced and there were punishments for people who did not follow the policy including fines, loss of jobs, removal of education and health rights for children and for women caught to be pregnant with a second child forced abortion and sterilisation.
At the same time as punishing offenders the government was also promoting the use of contraception and encouraging people to get married later. There are also some exceptions to the rule, families in rural areas were often allowed two children where people were needed to work on the land and ethnic groups were also allowed two children. SUCCESSES •The total fertility rate has from nearly 6 to about 1.7
•Population growth rate has fallen from a peak of 2.61% in the late 1960's to about 0.65% today
•Birth rates have fallen from highs of 45 to about 13 today.
•The availability of contraception has increased
•Up to 250 million births have been prevented since 1979
•China's population should peak in the first half of the 2030's (however, it might be as much as 1.45 billion) FAILURES •There have been criticisms about human rights, not only over freedom of choice, but forced abortions and sterilisations.
•Female infanticde has taken place, where the boys fave been favoured.
•There is now a sex imbalance in China (117:100).
•Many children have been abandoned for adoption.
•There is an ageing population and an increased dependency ratio
•There has been shortage of workers in some areas.
•The so called 'little emperors' syndrome where only children are spoilt
•The policy has been open to corruption. Many people have paid bribes to have extra children.
•The population is still 1.3 billion and growing Chinese policy: Success or failure? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11404623 China considers relaxing the 1 Child Policy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/08/china-relaxing-one-child-policy China sticking with the 1 Child Policy: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/world/asia/11china.html?_r=0 Ageing China- Changes and Challenges (2012): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19630110 How successful has China's anti-natalist policy been? (10 marks)
Singapore: changes in a population policy
Like China, Singapore had a high birth rate and fertility rate.
The government introduced an anti-natal policy to try to reduce this. It did this by:
Making contraceptives available at a low cost.
Creating family planning clinics to help make advice more available.
Publicising through the media the advantages of having a smaller family.
Introducing financial incentives for smaller families (such as free education and health care benefits). The financial support stopped with larger families.
The impact of the policy:
The fertility rate has dropped to 1.2 in 2011.
There were insufficient workers to fill job vacancies because of the decrease in the birth rate.
Singapore has an ageing population.
The change in the birth rate was more dramatic because it was also caused by the increasing development of Singapore, meaning that more women followed careers rather than starting a family. This meant the birth rate fell because of factors not directly because of the policy.
A pro-natalist policy
As a result of the decline in the birth rate, in 1984 the Singapore government started to reverse the anti-natalist policy. In 1987 some pro-natalist policies were introduced.
The phrase “have three or more children if you can afford it” was promoted by the government.
Financial benefits were given to encourage female graduates [graduate: A person who has completed a degree at university.] to have more than three children.
A baby bonus scheme was introduced which gave cash to new mothers.
Singapore has also recently introduced carers’ leave for fathers.
Other attempts to increase the birth rate have been to send out Valentine cards encouraging people to “make love, not money”. They also arrange weekend cruises to help match-make potential couples. These schemes have yet to be proved successful.
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